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Amsterdam celebrates as Prince Willem-Alexander becomes King of the Netherlands

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As a new chapter in Dutch royal history begins, crowds have gathered today in Amsterdam to celebrate the coronation of former Prince Willem-Alexander, who is now to become King after his mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, aged 75, abdicated in his favour.

By becoming King at 46, Willem-Alexander is to win the title of 'youngest monarch in Europe' which adds to the fact that he is also the first male King in over 100 years. The King's wife - a glamourous Argentinian that has become very popular despite the controversies surrounding her father's ties to Argentina's brutal military dictatorship of the Seventies - will be now known as 'Queen Maxima', while their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, will take the name of 'Princess Orange'.

Both the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are attending the ceremony in the historic Church of Nieuwe Kerk - as well as other well-known royals such as Prince Felipe of Spain and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan. The celebrations will be then taken to the streets, with thousands expected to party till the early hours.

King Willem-Alexander has already promised he will adopt a more relaxed approach to royal matters: he has declared that he's "not a protocol fetishist", which means that he does't mind if people don't address him as 'Your Majesty'. But most of all, his being 'unconventional' will most likely include a cut to the tax-free royal salary of €850,000 (£715,000) a year previously earned by his mother.

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